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ResumeBear: High Salaries For the College Grad Starting Out!

ResumeBear: High Salaries For the College Grad Starting Out!

College students pick their major for any number of reasons — interest in a particular field of study, ability to get a job post-graduation, amount of education or training needed and more. Another factor students often consider is how much they might earn once they enter the workforce. While it’s hard to imagine that any student would actively seek a low-paying major, some students may weigh salary more heavily than others when deciding on a degree.

According to the most recent salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for a Class of 2012 graduate is $44,442. To break it down further, here’s a list of the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees within common academic disciplines. Also included is the percent change in starting salaries from the Class of 2011 to the Class of 2012, along with examples of occupations that graduates within each major might pursue.

Highest-paying academic major: Economics (business/managerial)
Median starting salary: $54,800
Percent increase from 2011: 5.6
Example occupations: Financial manager, accountant/auditor, management analyst

Highest-paying academic major: Advertising
Median starting salary: $44,700
Percent increase from 2011: 2.5
Example occupations: Author, public-relations specialist, advertising or promotions manager

Computer sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Computer science
Median starting salary: $58,300
Percent increase from 2011: 4.3
Example occupations: Postsecondary teacher, computer programmer, computer support specialist

Highest-paying academic major: Special education
Median starting salary: $42,200
Percent increase from 2011: 2.2
Example occupations: Special education teacher, elementary or middle-school teacher

Highest-paying academic major: Computer engineering
Median starting salary: $67,800
Percent increase from 2011: 0.6
Example occupation: Computer software engineer

Health sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Nursing
Median starting salary: $48,400
Percent increase from 2011: 0.6
Example occupation: Registered nurse

Humanities and social sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Political science/government
Median starting salary: $38,400
Percent increase from 2011: 1.3
Example occupations: Social worker, paralegal or legal assistant, labor-relations specialist

Highest-paying academic major: Construction science/management
Median starting salary: $54,700
Percent increase from 2011: 1.9
Example occupations: Construction manager, civil engineer

*All data/information from the NACE April 2012 Salary Survey. Only certain starting salaries were available at the time the survey was conducted, so not all majors were factored into the starting salary comparisons.

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  1. article has a lot of good information that will help future students pick a career. It is getting harder and harder in the economy and the more informed you are the better you will make decision for your life.

  2. My son is getting competing offers for summer jobs. A stellar resume, even for high school students, nice dress and manners make all the difference!
    Thanks for the info.

  3. What a great post, that is very informative one. I can’t wait not to tell this post to my friends. In any field to become one of the competitive in the world of employment is the university where you came from, so it is also very important to choose the right and best university that offers the course you want, for the computer engineering student check to know what are the school best offers computer engineering and as early as now, discover the salary of your chosen career. Good luck! :)

  4. Informative article. While it’s vitally important to embrace a career that is personally fulfilling and takes the greatest advantage of your skills, abilities and education, it is also important that your chosen field of endeavor is in demand! Pay usually follows demand. Sometimes our number 2 or 3 career choice will not only work out better financially and in terms of steady employment; but you might just find out that it is as fulfilling or more than your original #1 choice.

  5. I really love these posts with facts and tips like this.
    Thanks for sharing this golden advice.

  6. Pretty interesting. I work with teens, and several who have gone to college in recent years are selecting these very majors – especially interesting is the contingent of girls who are selecting various kinds of engineering.

    Not so excited about the uptick in people going into advertising. Just what we need – more intrusions into our personal space trying to sell us something.

  7. I love these posts with facts like this. It makes me wish I could start again and do something different, sort of.

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